Courtois cools expectations of Eden Hazard after injury return

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Chelsea could have Eden Hazard back from injury against Leicester City this weekend but Thibaut Courtois claims the forward needs time to regain top form.

The Belgian attacker has been out of action for the past four months after he had surgery on his ankle to solve a persistent problem.

His return to action was at international level when he featured against Gibraltar in Belgium’s 2018 World Cup qualifier last Friday, scoring a goal in the process.

However, having not featured in the Blues shaky start to the season, fans and technical staff alike might be forgiven for wanting more from the diminutive star player. Goalkeeper, Courtois says his recovery from the injury and return to top form will take time.

He is ready, he is doing well and is ready to play. But we cannot forget he was injured for four months, he had surgery. You cannot expect – if he plays on Saturday, which is up to the manager – if he gets minutes you will see his quality but maybe he is not at his top form like he was last season and you cannot forget that.

You have to go little by little I think. We are excited to have him back and I was happy to have him on the pitch with me against Gibraltar and Greece. I hope we can see the best Eden Hazard very soon.

Thibaut Courtois, Sky Sports

Antonio Conte will also welcome new signings Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta to his first team as Chelsea travel to the King Power Stadium, as the Italian manager chases a third straight win after his side’s opening day defeat to Burnley at Stamford Bridge.